Rishi Sunak made history when he was chosen by his party to be Britain’s Prime Minister after failing the first time to the now former Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The fact that Rishi is first Indian-origin Prime Minister of Britain has brought cheer to the Indians, particularly Punjabis who share their roots with him from Gujranwala now in Pakistan’s Punjab.
Rishi Sunak’s paternal grandfather, a Punjabi Khatri Hindu, Ramdas Sunak, had left Gujranwala in (the undivided) India for Nairobi in 1935. His father Yashveer Sunak had moved to Liverpool in the 1960s to pursue a degree in medicine. Yashveer married wife Usha in Leicester in 1977 and they had Rishi Sunak in 1980 in Southampton.
It is of utmost pride that a Briton of Indian descent – Rishi Sunak is now leading the country that enslaved India and rule it for more than 200 years.
An accurate description of Rishi Sunak will be that he is a Briton who is a Hindu by religion and a Punjabi, Indian by descent.
No more, no less.
He did not get there for these attributes of him. He never would have. He is a smart, intelligent and clever politician who knows the game well and good on him for winning, after losing the last time round.
There have been celebrations all over the world amongst the Indian diaspora on his ascension to the post.
Former vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) SP Singh, whose ancestors too migrated from Gujranwala, said it was a proud moment for Punjabis like him, who have scripted history by emerging as UK’s first Asian Prime Minister, The Tribune reported.
SP Singh is at present the chairman of the Gujranwala Khalsa Educational Council. Special ‘ardas’ was performed at educational institutes when Rishi Sunak was in the race for the coveted position.
Some others have compared him to Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who was born in Gujranwala, where Rishi Sunak’s forefathers come from.
Many believe Rishi will allocate more time, energy and effort, better understand the nuances of Britain-India relations and so on.
To a little extent that may be true. But to expect a little too much – will be too much to expect.
All those celebrating must not forget, he has been chosen by Britons, because they have identified him as one of them – a Briton, not Indian. If they had seen him – an Indian Rishi, he would not be there where he is.
Now on to what Britons will see of him – a clever, smart leader who has been given the most difficult job of saving the economy, and thus the country.
For the foreseeable future, that is his job and nothing else would matter for him.
The British Labor party daggers are already out on him.
“Rishi Sunak as prime minister isn’t a win for Asian representation,” Indian-origin Labour MP Nadia Whittome wrote in the tweet, which now stands deleted.
“He’s a multi-millionaire who, as chancellor, cut taxes on bank profits while overseeing the biggest drop in living standards since 1956. Black, white or Asian: if you work for a living, he is not on your side,” she added.
Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of £730,000,000.
That’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III.
Remember this whenever he talks about making “tough decisions” that working class people will pay for.
— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) October 24, 2022
Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty have more than double the money King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort have.
Their wealth is estimated at 300 million-350 million pounds while the PM and his wife are worth more than 730 million pounds.
MP Nadia Whittome’s father, a Punjabi Sikh hails from Banga, Punjab in India and her mother is an Anglo-Indian.
Nadia Whittome, is a staunch critic of Rishi Sunak. She had earlier tweeted: “Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of 730,000,000 pounds. That’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III. Remember this whenever he talks about making ‘tough decisions’ that working class people will pay for.”
Comparing Rishi Sunak’s rise to Barack Obama becoming the president of the USA, Melbournian Kanthar Balanathan says, “Barack Obama was a patriotic American citizen, and he was loyal and focused on USA and he was determined to deliver positive and good results/products to the American people… His birthplace or his parents’ was not important for judgement for the Americans who voted for him.”
“Rishi Sunak, although his parents had Indian background was born in the UK, has been educated at Oxford, Stanford and has an extraordinary knowledge in politics, economics, philosophy … He is a highly patriotic, nationalistic, determined and focused to deliver the needs to the British people. He is British from the British Conservative party not from an Asian party” Kanthar Balanathan added.